LEAVING COURT: Richard Francis Sinclair pleads guilty to publishing matter defamatory of another living person.
LEAVING COURT: Richard Francis Sinclair pleads guilty to publishing matter defamatory of another living person. Felicity Ripper

Defamatory 'pedo flyers' meant as a 'kick up the butt'

A 67-YEAR-OLD Tinbeerwah man has pleaded guilty after he was charged for allegedly distributing flyers throughout Tewantin falsely claiming his former sporting associate was a paedophile.

At Noosa Magistrates Court this morning Richard Francis Sinclair pleaded guilty to publishing matter defamatory of another living person, without lawful excuse.

Police previously alleged that in November last year a man drafted a message which claimed his former associate was a paedophile and delivered it to multiple homes within the community.

The flyer contained the name and address of the victim along with a number of false allegations about his alleged criminal history.

Mr Sinclair and his 69-year-old victim Dennis Burgess played bowls together at Tewantin Bowls Club.

Family of Mr Burgess and a representative from the club sat in court to hear Mr Sinclair's guilty plea.

The case was adjourned until July 30 so police could gather a victim impact statement.

Outside of court Mr Sinclair told reporters that he and the 69-year-old victim had been friends for years before their relationship fell apart.

"There was a long series of disruptions to our friendship, I don't really want to go into those, I felt very aggrieved at the time," he said.

"It was an emotional reaction which I very seriously regret and something I would never undertake again.

"I actually took Dennis on under my wing when he was a novice player and spent three-and-a-half years picking him up from, and taking him to, bowls."

Mr Sinclair said he didn't actually think Mr Burgess was a paedophile.

He said he didn't believe the incident would have a long-term impact on Mr Burgess.

"It was dealt with very quickly by the police," Mr Sinclair said.

"There were only a few flyers sent out.

"It was merely meant as a kick up his butt."

Police prosecutor Allison Johnstone had asked that the case be adjourned for three weeks so that police could obtain all necessary documents.

"It's quite a different charge, it's not commonly seen before the court," Snr Cnst Johnstone said.

"We would be wanting to assist the court in the best possible way in relation to that sentence and have the victim impact statement which needs to be disclosed."

Mr Sinclair said he was still playing bowls, but not at the same club.



WWF attacks canegrowers on reef science

premium_icon WWF attacks canegrowers on reef science

Canegrowers hits back at government funding claims